Illustrations accompanying an old copy of

by the celebrated minister John Bunyan of Bedfordshire.

The Pilgrim's Progress is, well, sui generis. Tradition holds that John Bunyan wrote it in Bedford Gaol, while imprisoned for the crime of holding a religious service not in conformity with the Church of England. Bunyan spent twelve years in Bedford Gaol for that offense, which helps to explain why nonconformists liked to emigrate to America when they could.

Anyone familiar with this extraordinary work will agree with Samuel Johnson's assessment of John Bunyan, made nearly 100 years after the first publication of Pilgim's Progress and reported by James Boswell in his Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.:

Johnson praised John Bunyan highly. "His Pilgrim's Progress has great merit, both for invention, imagination, and the conduct of the story; and it has had the best evidence of its merit, the general and continued approbation of mankind. Few books, I believe, have had a more extensive sale. It is remarkable, that it begins very much like the poem of Dante; yet there was no translation of Dante when Bunyan wrote. There is reason to think that he had read Spenser."

The illustrations below come from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, With Over One Hundred Illustrations Designed by Frederick Barnard and Others, Engraved by Dalziel Borthers (The John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Toronto, 1894).  To download a larger  .BMP version of the images below, just click the image.

John Bunyan in Bedford Gaol.

"As I slept, I dreamed a dream."

Christian tells his wife and children of his distress.

"At length he brake his mind to his wife and children."

Christian before the Cross.

"His burden fell off his back, and began to tumble."

Christian and the Angels.

"Behold, three Shining Ones came to him, and saluted him."

The Porter meets Christian and calls Discretion to the palace door.

"This man is on a journey from the City of Destruction to Mount Zion."

Discretion, Piety, Charity, and Prudence instruct Christian at the Palace Beautiful.

"Then they read him some of the worthy acts that some of His servants had done."

Pride, Arrogancy, Self-Conceit, and Wordly-Glory.

Christian enters the town of Vanity Fair.

"At the town there is a fair kept, called Vanity Fair."

Madam Bubble and Mr. Stand-Fast.

"I am mistress of the world, and men are made happy by me."

The King's Trumpeter.

Mr. Great-Heart

Prudence questions Christiana's children.

"Then she began at the youngest, whose name was James."

Mrs. Timorous's Neighbors.

Mrs. Bats-eyes, Mrs. Inconsiderate, Mrs. Light-mind, and Mrs. Know-nothing

Doctor Skill



The Giant Despair

"Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by the Giant Despair."

Christian and Hopeful in the Castle of Giant Despair [Doubting Castle]

"So they continued together in the dark that day, in their doleful condition"



Pilgrim's Progress Links:

Back to Chuck Anesi's Home Page

©Copyright 1997, 2000 Chuck Anesi all rights reserved